Saturday, May 26, 2012

Car care: preventing car theft

[Article copyright by Ewe Paik Leong]

Statistics from the Royal Malaysian Police showed that for the months of January and February 2012, a total of 2,260 car thefts were reported in the country. This worked out to an average of 37 cars daily. Nevertheless, there are several ways to reduce the risk of theft to your car:

(1) Park your car in bright and busy areas.

(2) When you park your car, close all windows and lock all doors.

(3) Never leave any personal documents, ATM cards, credit cards or house keys in the glove compartment.

(4) Keep shopping bags, briefcases and folders in the boot even they may not contain anything valuable. (I know a case where a high-quality Billabong brand school bag was stolen, and it contained only primary school texts!)

(5) Install only audio systems that can removed from their brackets.

Many devices can be installed in your car to deter or prevent it from being stolen:

(1) Steering wheel lock
This device prevents the steering wheel from being turned. A variation of the steering wheel lock is the J-bar which is an adjustable steel rod that locks the brake pedal. Also available is the gear lock which immobilizes the gear stick.

(2) Etching
Etching the car’s registration number into the windscreen prevents false registration number from being used if it is stolen.

(3) Ignition-kill switch
This is a toggle device that cuts off the engine’s ignition system. A variton is the petrol cut-off switch.

(4) Alarm
Alarms differ in the way the system is tripped. A voltage sensing device triggers the alarm when a drain of power is detected, for example, from the interior light. A motion-sensing device sends out high frequency sound waves. The alarm is activated when there is a change in the sound wave pattern.

(5) Anti-theft systems
Any serious anti-theft device must do more than make noise, so newer cars are now equipped with anti-theft systems incorporating several devices, such as a dual ignition-and-fuel immobiliser.


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